50 New NC Laws Went Into Effect This Month

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Changes to medical malpractice rules and awards, rulemaking by state agencies and looser helmet rules for ATV riders are among more than 50 new laws now being enforced in North Carolina.

Victims of alleged medical negligence who file lawsuits starting Saturday will be limited to $500,000 in "non-economic damages" -- things like pain, suffering and injuries such as lost body parts -- if they win a case. There's still no limit on payments for medical bills, lost wages and other monetary losses.

Regulatory changes taking effect make clear environmental rules can't be more restrictive than corresponding federal regulations. State agencies also must review rules annually and repeal those considered unduly burdensome.

Adults driving all-terrain vehicles on private property also don't have to wear a helmet and eye protection.

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  • by Gville on Oct 3, 2011 at 05:47 AM
    Your scenario is completely unrealistic. I am now dumber for reading same. You are degrading the great citizens of North Carolina by suggesting they would sit on a jury and give such a frivolous award.
  • by Bill Location: Greenville on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM
    Obviously, most of you have never been a victim of malpractice!!.NC is a very conservatitve state. No multimillion dollar awards for spilling hot coffee on your lap. This law is just WRONG. Why? Insurance companies just want to settle when there is negligence and not look back. A one time settlement and it's over. If they are going to cap it, have the insurance companies be on the hook indefinately for future medical expenses associated with the injury. I bet the insurance companies would stop dancing in the halls over this law. I would also like to see doctors held crimanally liable for for gross malpractice. Anyone who has actually been a victim of malpractice will tell you the insurance companies created this system. One time payment and walk away. Again, lets stop this type of award and put the insurance companies on the hook for future medical expenses caused by negligence.
    • reply
      by Native on Oct 3, 2011 at 08:48 AM in reply to Bill
      I agree. A doctor nearly bled my grandmother out on the operating table. After they got that under control she ended up staying in the hospital for the next two months due to complications. She ended up leaving that hospital in a hurse. Imaging the bill that would follow. Actually, no bill followed. The doctor agreed to cover all the medical expenses if my grandfather would not sue. He didn't sue and the doc took care of it all. Now,, he would be stuck with the HUGE, HUGE bill that was their fault.
  • by concerned citizen on Sep 30, 2011 at 10:57 AM
    If only life were as simple as Obama Snake Oil and others make it. I saw a documentary on a family in a state that passed tort reform. Their child was left with mental handicapps and multiple health issues (dozens of surgeries) from neglect. The couple voted for the tort cap and when the lawyer explained, the man said I thought that only applied to frivilous lawsuits. No! It applies to ALL! Now instead of the negligent doctor and his insurance providing lifelong care for this child, the government is doing it (medicaid) and guess what! that is us
  • by taxpayervoter Location: enc on Sep 29, 2011 at 03:30 PM
    The state now regulates what you do on private property, ie helmets on ATV's. More fine money collected for the state. 50 new laws???
  • by taxpayervoter Location: enc on Sep 29, 2011 at 03:30 PM
    The state now regulates what you do on private property, ie helmets on ATV's. More fine money collected for the state. 50 new laws???
  • by taxpayervoter Location: enc on Sep 29, 2011 at 03:30 PM
    The state now regulates what you do on private property, ie helmets on ATV's. More fine money collected for the state. 50 new laws???
  • by JusticeForAll on Sep 29, 2011 at 01:40 PM
    I fully support the repeal of ALL motorcycle and ATV helmet laws--even on the open road. Let individuals make the choice THEMSELVES whether or not they want to be Organ Donors...
  • by Beachbum3 on Sep 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    i had always been of the opinion that insurance compaines were in the risk taking business anyway but the want all oof the risk taken out of of it an for it to be strickly deregulated so that every dime they take in is nothing buut purely profits without form of risk to be assume by them in the first place.you would think with all of their projection of life expectance that they would by now have it down to a science to where they wouldn't be assuming any risk at all. it looks to me like that they would look to their mangers an upper an exective mangament to up hold their profitts . isn't that their jobs well i say make them do their jobs in order to earn their big year end bonuses thank you
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:09 PM in reply to Beachbum3
      Wrong, insurance in NC is regualated and audited every year. If there is saving to this program, their prices will come down.
      • reply
        by Gville on Sep 29, 2011 at 01:49 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        If you think insurance companies are not benefitting from the new laws, you truly are ignorant. Insurance companies now get a credit for anything HI pays on medical bills in any personal injury action. The collateral source rule has essentially been wiped out in favor of the insurance companies. Anything paid by HI or other sources is now admissible in court, while any evidence of vehicle insurance must be excluded. You know that hard earned money you work for? That money you pay each month for health insurance? Well, you no longer reap the benefits from this if you are injured. The insurance companies sure do though.
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil co on Sep 29, 2011 at 03:32 PM in reply to Gville
          So you are saying that if you paid into a system for 14 years and paid say 14 thousand is was OK to get 14 million in a lawsuit? Well, the insurance companies must show what costs are and markup before profit and bonus. Otherwise, we throw them out of the state. I have a problem when someone says they were in a car wreck and the attorney came knocking. The attorney said to go to a chiropractor right away and get an eval on their condition that would be used to go after the other driver. I have a problem when the system is so abused by fraud that everyone turns the other cheek and says, well they paid into it. Yeah they paid 14 thousand...where did the rest of the money come from, me and you fool. So before you claim who is ignorant, do some reading around on the net. You really sound like an attorney trying to whine about you situation not being as good as you had it. Well, pound sand....its a done deal!
        • reply
          by Gville on Sep 30, 2011 at 07:12 AM in reply to Gville
          You clearly have never been injured by the negligence of another. If you had, you would be singing a completely different tune. I'm not going to waste my time with you. Either you understand the tragic consequences of these new laws, or you don't. You clearly don't. A person who goes in for a routine surgery, trusting of their doctor, is left a quadraplegic because of the negligence of the doctor. $500,000 won't cover 3 years of the assisted living expenses that this person will require. Well, at least the insurance company saved a few bucks!
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil co on Oct 1, 2011 at 04:26 AM in reply to Gville
          So when a neighor had a wreck at an intersection with a car, sued the other driver and eventually sued the doctor over his supposed injury to his back, you are OK with him getting 13 million dollars? So with his nice new shiny truck he splits wood and sells it when he feels like it. Yeah, I say those insurance companies saved the payers lots of money...and he is so proud now! OH, sorry, forgot to mention he gets dissability as well. Yeah, his new doctor said he couldn't work...I am all sympathetic to you on this one.
  • by Changing Parties on Sep 29, 2011 at 09:53 AM
    When I see all the ignorant comments made on this forum: Changing to the Republican party makes a lot of sense. The Democratic party now represents ignorance to me.
    • reply
      by william on Sep 29, 2011 at 03:42 PM in reply to Changing Parties
      Why not join us Independent thinkers Changing? You can think and do what YOU want instead of your party telling you. Neither party is in touch with the majority of Americans.
  • by Obama Snake Oil co Location: Washington on Sep 29, 2011 at 05:10 AM
    Oh the bleeding hearts posting here...there is a reason this came into being..its not about insurance companies, its about.....you and what you pay for health insurance and medical insurance. Its about what attorneys make off these cases. If you think this is not costing you money, then you are an idiot. All those costs go to the insurance companies and are passed on to you. All the doctors costs are also transferred to you. If you cannot figure that someone in NC is paying for this, don't vote and don't drive either. You are not competitent to do either.
    • reply
      by william on Sep 29, 2011 at 06:30 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
      If everyone in the country could afford competent health care, at a reasonable price, without having the outcome of that care be based on the insurance company profits or the cost of the doctor's liability, then maybe we wouldn't have so many of these suits. Medical care today is like shopping for clothes or groceries; most go to Wal Mart or Piggly Wiggly but a select few go to Harris Teeter or a specialty boutique. Leaving out the derogatory terms, maybe you're the one who's not seeing the big picture.
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil co on Sep 29, 2011 at 07:38 AM in reply to william
        Being that the insurance companies are regulated in NC...sure you heard of that, their profits are also regulated. You can find that online. This action would reduce real costs normally pushed onto users of the medical industry. We have too many frivoulous lawsuits in NC and other states and as you know, most doctors and insurance just settle. This same policy was not in Obamacare, its tort reform and should have been. It would have kept costs down on all health insurance in NC and other states. Instead, that plan gave into the attorneys that make millions of others suffering. They also make millions off fraud. Fraud happens everyday in Greenville and other cities in NC. You can deny it if you want, however, you probably know about a classic example of one. Also, the additional testing that takes place by doctors due to malpractice is huge. This article gives you an idea to the problems; http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/healthcare/articles/2010/09/07/cost-of-medical-malpractice-tops-55-billion-a-year-in-us
        • reply
          by william on Sep 29, 2011 at 05:03 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
          Just a quick weird thought that came up OSOC. Yes, Insurance companies are regulated by the government, but does this mean that they are RUN by the government? Nobody wants the government to make health care decisions for us right? Just sayin'. And yes fraud is rampant and so is corporate greed and we, the middle class consumers and taxpayers, are going to pay for it all.
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil Co on Sep 30, 2011 at 05:24 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
          Well, with Obamacare as it is now, the government will be controlling our healthcare. They will decide what should be payed on an illness or whether it is too much of a risk to the system. Just look what they did to medicare and medicaid. If this new law holds true, our healthcare should go down in price right? Well, since we are now going to pay for those that do not have healthcare, expect it to go up. I looked up how the state manages healthcare providers here. They are only allowed to make a modest profit, however, the new law has them absorbing uninsured patients. Sure, they may pay the fine, however, we will foot the bill. The insurance companies will still make the same profit they are allowed to. Lawsuits have been a 63 billion dollar a year business according to the internet. That is the payout to people every year on average. Most of it...goes to attorneys.
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